Fitness trends – they come and go. Indoor cycling was popular in the 90’s and then fizzled out in the twentieth century. But over the last five years, a new type of indoor cycling has taken off like wildfire. Except it is not called indoor cycling anymore: it’s “spin,” or “spin class”.
These new spin classes are very different from the sprints and climbs of indoor cycling. Now the class is dark with low lights or black lights and everyone rides to the beat of the music. Sure, there are still hill climbs and sprints, but spin class now includes fun new moves. I’ll compare them to squats and pushups on the bike done to the beat. So maybe it’s like a dance on a bike. Sound like fun?! It is! In fact, it’s addictive.
Reasons why Spin Class is Worth Trying:
It is one of the most fun ways to get your cardio done. The loud music, low lights and rhythmic moves make it feel like you’re at the club (if you had those days) instead of a fitness class. Class is suddenly over and you’re covered in sweat having torched a ton of calories!
It’s one of the most low impact workouts out there, because the knees and lower back get zero pressure or pounding like they do from high intensity moves like running and Burpees. The bike supports your weight and there’s a restricted range of motion. You will be able to continue spinning as you age without fear of painful side effects.
Spinning is good for weight loss because the high intensity cardio is an effective and time efficient way to burn calories. In 45 minutes you will have burned 500+ calories, and spiked your metabolism from the high intensity workout.
You will also get resistance training from pedaling. During climbs (like climbing a hill) you turn the resistance up so that pedaling becomes significantly more difficult.
In my opinion, the best thing about spin is that it is the most diverse class for any fitness level. Because you turn the resistance knob you are in control of the difficulty of the workout. Does that mean you can cheat? YES! If you’re dying and need a break, take it! No one will know you took the resistance down a notch. Then when you are ready to jump back in, turn the resistance up! This is my favorite thing about the spin classes. Anyone can take a class and feel good about their workout. Plus, it helps that the lights are out and no one can see you.
Things to know:
Arrive to your first class fifteen minutes early to have the instructor help you set up your bike – and to get a bike on the back row.
Expect to take breaks that first class. Sit down and recover. Watch the instructor. Consider your first class a learning experience.
There is a learning curve to spin class. You have to adjust to the bike and try to catch the moves. It takes three to four classes to figure it out. But once you do, you will be hooked!
Spin is great to do two or three times a week. Any more frequently and you could risk overuse (just like any exercise).
I challenge you to try something new this year! Find a spin class near you and sign up. I hope you (can learn to) love it! ν